Sri Lankan soldiers took over the role of the medical staff who were conducting a nation-wide strike in late February, as militarisation of the North-East intensifies.
The medical staff abstained from work from February 24 to February 25, making a set of demands including the granting of promotions for government staff and assigning permanent employment to workers who have completed their probation period.
On the second day of the protest, on February 25, a great number of troops from the Security Forces Headquarters in Mullaitivu were deployed in the district government hospital in order to fill in for the protesting medical staff.
In the Mancholai hospital, the army can be seen to do everything from escorting the patients into the premises to taking them to doctors.
Tamils have continuously called for the demilitarisation of the North-East as the Sri Lankan army continues to take over various functions of civilian life across the region. The military's intrusion into their daily lives plays a role in unemployment, alcohol abuse and drug exploitation in the area.